Laws, Regulations & Annotations
Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2013
Revenue and Taxation Code
Part 9. Corrections, Cancellations, and Refunds
Chapter 5. Refunds
Article 2. Refund Actions by Taxpayers*
5141. Action for refund; limitation. (a) An action brought under this article, except an action brought under Section 5148, shall be commenced within six months from and after the date that the board of supervisors or city council rejects a claim for refund in whole or in part.
(b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), if the board of supervisors or city council fails to mail notice of its action on a claim for refund within six months after the claim is filed, the claimant may, prior to mailing of notice by the board of supervisors or city council of its action on the claim, consider the claim rejected and bring an action under this article.
(c) If an applicant for the reduction of an assessment states in the application that the application is intended to constitute a claim for refund pursuant to Section 5097, the claim for refund shall be deemed denied on the date the final installment of the taxes extended on such assessment becomes delinquent or on the date the equalization board makes its final determination on the application, whichever is later.
History.—Stats. 1978, Ch. 1188, in effect September 26, 1978 added subdivision designations and inserted subdivision (b). Stats. 1987, Ch. 1262, in effect January 1, 1988, added ", except an action brought under Section 5148," after "article" in subdivision (a).
Construction.—While subdivision (a) imposes a limitations period of six months from the date the public entity rejects a refund claim, subdivision (b) provides only that when the entity fails to act on the refund claim for more than six months, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the entity denies the claim or the claimant elects to consider the claim rejected and file an action. Thus, subdivision (b) permits, but does not require, a claimant to deem its claim denied. It cannot be read to mandate a limitations period of six months after the public entity fails to act on the refund claim. Geneva Towers Ltd. Partnership v. City and County of San Francisco, 29 Cal.4th 769. A county is an essential defendant in a tax refund action against it. The complaint for a refund of taxes was not timely filed against the county because the six-month statute of limitations of Section 5141 had expired before the taxpayer added the county as a defendant. Schoenberg v. County of Los Angeles Assessment Appeals Board (2009) 179 Cal. App. 4th 1347.
* Article 2 was added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 499, p. 1240, in effect January 1, 1977.